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S.S. Kresge, the architect of the KMart retailing chain, is born in Pennsylvania.

Sebastian Spering Kresge, circa 1922.
07/31/1867

Sebastian Spering Kresge, know for most of his life by the name of his company, S.S. Kresge, was born this day at Bald Mountain, Pennsylvania, near Wilkes-Barre.  He attended public schools, then worked his way through business college in Poughkeepsie, New York before becoming the part owner of a five and dime store in Detroit, Michigan.  Over the next decades he built a retail empire that already by 1922 contained 180 stores spread across North America making the notoriously parsimonious Kresge a billioniare in modern terms.  His company began to convert its 915 stores to the KMart brand in 1962, four years before Kresge died in 1966, six weeks after his ninety-ninth birthday.  (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 

Clarence Monroe Burton, William Stocking, Gordon Miller (eds.), The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922 (Detroit, MI: S.J. Clarke Publishing, 1922), 172-174.
John N. Ingham (ed.), Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983), II:737-739.

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